Nine EU states to sign off on joint military intervention force


Nine EU member states are set to sign off on the establishment of a joint European military intervention force, an initiative which has won the backing of the UK as it seeks to maintain defence ties after Brexit. Spearheaded by the French president, Emmanuel Macron, the European force will be designed to deploy and coordinate forces rapidly to deal with crises around the world.

Defence ministers from France, Germany, Belgium, Britain, Denmark, the Netherlands, Estonia, Spain and Portugal were expected to sign a letter of intent in Luxembourg on Monday. Since the election of its new government, Italy has backtracked on its initial support, but Rome has not ruled out the country’s future involvement. Macron outlined his vision of strategic autonomy for European defence in a keynote Sorbonne speech last September. The development has caused some anxiety within Nato, where officials are concerned about any duplication of roles and distancing from the US. Nato’s secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, is in Luxembourg for discussions on European security and defence, before a summit of the military alliance in Brussels next month.(theguardian)…[+]